Dear Parishioners of St. Anthony Maronite Church,
Let us first and foremost “give thanks to the Lord for he is good, and his mercy endures forever” (Ps. 107:1). Proximally, the last year and half has been one of trial and tribulation for each individual, for each family, for each community, here and throughout the entire world. It appears, however, that we are nearing the end of this pandemic and recent announcements from the Government encourage us to look ahead and to begin putting this pandemic behind us.
Governor Baker and his administration recently announced that the Commonwealth is on track to meet the goal of vaccinating 4.1 million residents by the first week of June, and as a result of this all remaining COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted effective May 29. This includes the current face covering order which will be replaced with a face covering advisory instead. Governor Baker will also end the State of Emergency on June 15. The Commonwealth leads the nation in vaccinating residents, with 75% of adults receiving at least one dose. To date, over 4 million residents have received a first dose, with 3.2 million fully vaccinated.
This encouraging news requires us at St. Anthony to begin taking steps to return our community to pre-pandemic days. Thus, as of May 29:
- Church pews will no longer be blocked off
- Liturgy (Qorbono) books will be returned to the pews for use
- Communion by intinction (under both species received on the tongue) will be available
- Face masks will no longer be required inside the Church
We understand that it will take some time for everyone to feel comfortable again, so we will continue to temporarily:
- keep the QR Codes on the pews for those that wish to access the Liturgical texts without handling a Qorbono book
- make available communion received by hand
- recommend that non-vaccinated individuals to wear face masks and to continue distancing in most settings (per the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ new face-mask advisory)
- live-stream Divine Liturgies on Facebook
Please take note that as of September 6, weekend Divine Liturgies will no longer be live-streamed on Facebook as this is a Holy Day of Obligation and dispensation from this will be lifted. We do plan to live-stream Weekday Liturgies however, but details on this will follow.
Your comfort and safety have always been our top concerns, but as our State, and States across the Country, are re-opening with a desire to return to a state of normalcy, it is our responsibility to do the same as a Community of Faith and House of God.
We sincerely look forward to seeing our pews filled again, coming together as one faith-family to praise God for all the blessings he continues to bestow upon us.